Nordstrom’s vice president of digital and store technologies, Courtney Kissler, plans to leave the Seattle-based retailer to take a new role outside the company — the latest in a series of departures as Nordstrom cuts back and revamps its digital strategy.
A spokeswoman for the retailer acknowledged Kissler’s planned departure in response to GeekWire’s inquiry this week. In addition, the spokeswoman confirmed that changes on the tech team this week “resulted in three leaders who are no longer with Nordstrom,” in addition to Kissler.
The other leaders weren’t identified. GeekWire has contacted two other longtime Nordstrom tech leaders believed to have recently left the company, and we’ll update this post if we can confirm their departures. They are all high-profile leaders in the engineering and software development communities who have represented Nordstrom frequently at public talks and events.
Update: JB Brown, co-founder of the Nordstrom Innovation Lab, and most recently senior director of mobile and personalization technology, confirmed via email that he also left this week. He said he has joined LIFFFT “to continue my passion of creating world-class software development teams and innovative products.”
“With Courtney’s departure, the timing was right to take a step that I had considered for quite some time,” he said. “At LIFFFT I will be able to help others by leveraging my experience co-founding the Nordstrom Innovation Lab, my time leading the hyper-growth of the mobile and personalization teams while improving to operational excellence, and my love for coaching.”
Rob Cummings, who was director of technical operations for Nordstrom, also confirmed that he has left the company. He’s a co-organizer of the upcoming DevOpsDays conference in Seattle.
The latest changes come after Nordstrom cut approximately 120 jobs from its technology team in March. The company subsequently announced plans to cut as many as 400 additional jobs across the company.
Nordstrom had been investing heavily in technology, spending $300 million annually in an effort to compete more effectively with Amazon and others. However, those investments haven’t been paying off as much as the company hoped. Nordstrom CFO Michael Koppel told analysts earlier this year that the retailer would focus its tech initiatives on “fewer, more meaningful projects” while “accelerating our efforts to re-platform our architecture to streamline development while reducing costs.”
In April, the company said the “new operating model” in its tech group was “focused on strengthening its ability to deliver on e-commerce and digital initiatives, and proactively addressing opportunities to improve supply chain and marketing effectiveness.”
Blake Nordstrom, the company’s co-president, said in a statement at the time, “We will never change our commitment to serving customers, but recognize how they want to be served has been changing at an increasingly rapid pace. Meeting our customers’ expectations means we must continually evolve with them. We see opportunities to create a more efficient and agile organization that ensures we’re best positioned to achieve our goals.”